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CBS Names Stephen Colbert As Next ‘Late Show’ Host

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David Letterman and his successor, Stephen Colbert. (Photo courtesy: CBS-Worldwide Pants)

David Letterman and his successor, Stephen Colbert. (Photo courtesy: CBS-Worldwide Pants)

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NEW YORK (CBS) – The new face of late night is … Stephen Colbert.

The CBS Television Network announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of  “The Colbert Report,” will succeed David Letterman as the host of “The Late Show.”

Colbert will take over for Letterman when he retires from the broadcast, after 21 years, in 2015.

“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” said Les Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”

“We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television viewers in late night,” said Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment.

“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” said Colbert. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”

Letterman jumped to CBS in 1993 after NBC went with Jay Leno as the new host of the “Tonight Show.” To accommodate the new late night program, CBS purchased and renovated the Ed Sullivan Theater, 1697 Broadway, where “The Ed Sullivan Show” was taped from 1948 until 1971 and which Letterman has used for his show for his entire CBS run.

In 2011, Letterman received the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at Comedy Central’s first annual The Comedy Awards.

Letterman has also won two American Comedy Awards as funniest male performer in a television series. He was honored as “Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host” at the 31st annual People’s Choice Awards in 2005.

Watch: Colbert’s Tribute To Boston Following The Marathon Bombings

In total, Letterman’s shows have received 108 Emmy nominations and eight wins. He also won a Peabody Award in 1992.

The Late Show airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.

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